$425-Million Rig Expansion Program Announced By Sonat

Sonat Inc. announced recently that its subsidiary, Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc., has entered into an agreement with the Daewoo Corporation and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Heavy Machinery, Ltd. of Korea to build six semisubmersible drilling rigs for approximately $425 million.

Following an initial delivery in the latter part of 1986, two of the six rigs are scheduled for delivery in 1987, and the remaining three will be delivered in subsequent years.

This order is the largest ever made by Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc. and thought to be the largest single commitment ever made in the offshore contract drilling industry.

The parties were assisted by Fearnleys Group of Norway in developing this agreement.

The rigs, which will be built with design assistance from Gotaverken Arendal AB (GVA), will be constructed to drill in water depths up to 3,000 feet.

"This is a major program to respond to anticipated market requirements," said Ronald L.

Kuehn Jr., Sonat president and CEO. "These drilling rigs will offer far-reaching operating capabilities and the latest technology for deepwater drilling. We believe strongly that companies involved in the upper end of the offshore drilling industry with equipment capable of drilling in deep water and in harsh environments will be best positioned for future growth, and we are clearly aiming at that segment of the industry." Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc., headquartered in Houston is one of the largest independent international offshore drilling contractors with a fleet of 21 marine units.

Sonat Inc., headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is a company engaged in finding and producing oil and natural gas, field services associated with oil and gas operations, and transportation of energy products.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 7,  Dec 1984

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